So, what is web hosting, anyhow?
Your web server is the place your website lives on the internet. You essentially rent server space from a hosting provider. The extra items that your hosting provider takes care of to ensure your website and server runs properly falls under hosting management.
If your website sits on a fully-managed server, your provider will troubleshoot any issues you may run into so that you don’t have to. With a fully-managed hosting plan, you won’t have to take any action to keep your server performing at top level; again, it’s done for you.
So, what’s website maintenance then?
When the design and development of your website is completed and ready to go live, it doesn’t mean your website is perpetually untouched. Updates, upgrades and refinements to your site will likely occur, based on the content that’s there.
Website maintenance refers to any elements (photos, videos, icons, content, links, blog posts, etc.) that need to be updated, added, deleted or altered within your website. Your website developer will typically give you the option to make the updates to your website on your own, but because it is often more trouble than it’s worth, an experienced web development provider will take the burden of website maintenance off your hands and do it for you (at an extra cost!).
Knowing the difference
It’s easy to confuse the difference between website hosting and website maintenance, even if you think you have a general idea. If you’re considering a website redesign, or don’t currently have one, go into the process with the basics. Website hosting is where your site lives, website maintenance is the continuous updates to your website elements - and, you need both!